August was a crazy month for the Florida theme parks and attractions, as it marks the official beginning of the Halloween and haunt season!
Halloween announcements dominated the theme park community this month, so let’s get right into it!
Universal Orlando Resort
An opening-day experience is closing this September at Universal’s Islands of Adventure. The “Eighth Voyage of Sinbad” stunt show will take its final bow on Sept. 15. Since 1999, this high-flying show has entertained guests with Sinbad and his sidekick Kabob’s antics as they rescue Princess Amoura from an evil witch. There is no word on the reason for this closing, or what will replace the stage show after it has closed.
Universal also opened a brand-new value hotel to guests this month, Universal’s Aventura Hotel. This resort offers convenient transportation to all three Universal Orlando parks, views of Volcano Bay water park, and other on-site benefits at a value price.
Guests staying at Aventura can enjoy on-site benefits like early park admission, room charging privileges, a rooftop bar and grill, tech-savvy accommodations that control the room’s features, and more. Rates start at just $116 per night for a four-night stay.
Last, but most certainly not least, we now have the full lineup for this year’s Halloween Horror Nights event. Ten houses, five scare zones, and a new Academy of Villains live dance show – and with more dates than ever.
The haunted houses for this year are Stranger Things, Poltergeist, Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers, Horrors of Blumhouse, Trick ‘r Treat, Dead Exposure: Patient Zero, Carnival Graveyard: Rust in Pieces, Slaughter Sinema, Seeds of Extinction, and ScaryTales: Deadly Ever After.
You can roam the streets if you dare in this year’s scare zones, including Revenge of Chucky, Killer Klowns from Outer Space, Vamp 85: New Year’s Eve, Twisted Tradition, and The Harvest.
Don’t miss out on all the frightful fun when Halloween Horror Nights returns to Universal Orlando Resort on Sept. 14.
Walt Disney World
Halloween is alive and well at Walt Disney World, as the park recently kicked off its Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party season.
At the parties, guests young and old can don their best Halloween costume, trick-or-treat for mountains of candy, and enjoy plenty of seasonal entertainment, ride overlays and character encounters.
Ride overlays are a new feature for this year’s event and include:
Space Mountain – A new soundtrack and special effects will transform this adventure through space.
Pirates of the Caribbean – Live actors will invade the queue as they search for Gunpowder Pete.
Mad Tea Party – New lighting and effects will put a new spin on this classic ride.
Guests can also dance their Not-So-Scary night away during the Storybook Circus Disney Junior Jam, which features several Disney Junior characters, like Doc McStuffins. You can experience Mickey’s-Not-So-Scary Halloween Party on select nights now through Oct. 31.
In other spooky news, Disney Junior’s “Vampirina” will soon make her debut at Walt Disney World as a meet-and-greet-character. This new vampire in town will be a part of the Disney Junior Play ’n Dine at Disney’s Hollywood Studios starting Sept. 30, and will join the new “Disney Junior Dance Party!” stage show later this fall.
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay
This year will bring new nightmares to Busch Gardens’ Howl-O-Scream, as the event will return on Sept. 21 for 19 nights of terror – and introduce a new 17+ only experience.
The adult’s only haunted house in question is called Simon’s Slaughterhouse, and is considered an intense experience that is suggested for guests ages 17 and older only. Once inside, you’ll agree to play Simon’s sick and twisted games as you travel through the Meat Market, where cannibalistic creatures are waiting to feast on the weak.
Other haunted houses for this year’s event include Insomnia, The Black Spot, Unearthed, and the fan-favorite Death Water Bayou. If you’re feeling brave, travel through this year’s new scare zones scattered throughout the park, like Camp D.O.A., Hell on Wheels or Maniac Midway.
You can experience Howl-O-Scream at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay on select nights from Sept. 21 to Oct. 28.
SeaWorld Orlando and Aquatica
Departing from Halloween-related news, SeaWorld announced the extension of their partnership with Rudolph & Friends, keeping the classic characters for their annual holiday events at all of their parks across the country.
Thanks to this extension, the characters of Rudolph, Clarice, Bumble and Yukon Cornelius will continue to be a part of the festive fun at SeaWorld’s holiday events through Jan. 31, 2024.
Catch more theme park happenings, news and updates here next month!
Brittani Tuttle is a writer with Attractions Magazine, the only publication that covers all the major theme parks and attractions worldwide. In addition to the magazine, there is “The Attractions Show” online, an email newsletter, podcast, app and more. For more information email email@example.com and visit AttractionsMagazine.com.on her blog: www.mycardsandhowtheygrow.wordpress.com.